Supervisors: Dr Bart Cammaerts and Dr Ellen Helsper
Research topic: Blog.Gov: winning the digital hearts and minds - an examination of government blogging as a foreign policy communication tool in the digital era
Following the advent of radio and later television, the internet has more recently been incorporated into the political communication apparatus to communicate American foreign affairs. Beyond websites providing information for a general public, the use of the internet is most importantly being expanded to include government blogging. In the context of foreign policy news management, my research seeks to address the recent entry of the government to the blogosphere through an examination of the State Department blog site, Dipnote.
By focusing on Dipnote's Middle East posts during both the Bush and Obama administrations, the findings will aim to shed light on how this government blog is used as tool of the State Department in a digital era through an exploration of a variety of concepts, including professionalization, personalization, and the potential of official blogging as a tool of soft or smart power in the digital diplomacy era.
Main research interests: Media-foreign policy interaction; Role of media in democracies & emerging democracies; political public relations; impact of new media and communications in North Africa & the Middle East.